Feature a Speaker: Dana Vicknair, TRSL Director
October 11, 2018
Name of Fame: Beth Plaisance, District II
November 1, 2018

We Booked it North! A Recap of the 2018 LRTA Fall Meeting

The 2018 Fall Meeting went off without a hitch and broke record-setting numbers! About 300 people (LRTA and non-LRTA members) attended the meeting in Bossier City, La. Over 190 people attended the convention banquet on Oct. 23, the most in LRTA history. We were so glad to meet, greet and work with everyone. Now, let’s take a look at some of the highlights of the Fall Meeting!

Our Guest Speakers
We kicked off our general sessions early on Oct. 23 with Governor John Bel Edwards delivering the keynote address. View news clips from his address here and here. Governor Edwards reaffirmed his support for retired educators and praised them for their many years of public service. Rep. Larry Bagley spoke to our members soon after. He discussed the future of the retirement system and shared his own experiences as a teacher with our members. After a quick lunch break and technology lounge, Senator Barrow Peacock explained how retirement bills go through the legislature. On Wednesday Oct. 24, deputy director of the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana Katherine Whitney (filling in for Dana Vicknair) gave our members an update on TRSL. View the slides from her presentation here. She and our executive director Rodney Watson answered questions from the audience afterward. Thank you to our guest speakers for taking the time to talk with us and helping to make our retirement years great!


Unit Challenge Award Winners
Lazette Watterson, LRTA second vice-president and state programs chair, presented this year’s Unit Challenge Award Winners. They are:

St. Mary Parish RTA- Nelson Cortez, President (17 points)
St. Landry Parish REA- Dr. Savoynne Williams, President (19 points)

Educators of Yesteryear RTA- Dorothy Wilson, President (21 points)
St. James RTA- Millie Matherne, President (21 points)
Union Parish RTA- Janice Savage, President (21 points)
Bossier RTA- Annette Lee, President (22 points)
St. Landry Parish RTA- Patricia Woods, President (22 points)
Beauregard RTA- Rita Brewer, President (23 points)
Lafourche RTA- Beth Plaisance, President (23 points)
Lincoln Parish RTA- Barbara Kirkland, President (23 points)
Rapides RTA- Gloria Hearn, President (23 points)
Sabine RTA- William Thomas, President (23 points)
Ascension RTA- Peggy Aime, President (24 points)
Caddo-Bossier RTA- Raymond Love, President (24 points)

Iberia RTA- Alice Bodin, President (26 points)
Iberville RTA- Barbara L. Davis, President (26 points)
Ouachita RTA- Norene Smith, President (26 points)
Calcasieu- Cameron RTA- Mary Margaret David, President (27 points)
Tangipahoa RTA- Linda Vaccaro, President (28 points)
Terrebonne RTA- Lynn Ellzey, President (28 points)
Vermillion Parish RTA- Patsy Heber, President (28 points)
Assumption Parish RTA- Linda Gaudet, President (29 points)
Jefferson RTA- Aretha Eldridge Williams, President (29 points)
Jeff Davis Area RTA- Frances Byler, President (29 points)

Solid Gold (30 points):
Caddo RTA- Emma Shepard, President
Calcasieu Parish Unit of Retired Teachers- Ivy Mouton, President
CENLA RTA- Jesse Turner, President
St. Tammany Parish RSEA- Roxanne Lagarde, President


Centennial Birthdays
The LRTA Foundation honored members turning 100 years old this year. They are:
Marguerite Broussard
Evelyn H. Carter
Lou Ellen A. Cone
Laura L. Cotton
Doris B. Denmon
Ruth H. Johnson
Juanita M. LeBleu
Leola H. Loftin
Alma L. Lufcy
Onelia S. Martin
Agnes C. Miller
Geneva E. Moore
Katie B. Morgan
Mary P. Mougeot
Carrie W. Nobile
Altha E. Orr
Hazel M. Ory
Inez R. Phillips
Ella S. Pitts
Mildred L. Reese
Emily L. Roberts
Katie M. Walker
Juanita F. Wall


Foundation Donations
The LRTA Foundation also released the list of contributions that were made to the foundation throughout the year. They are:

Mrs. Bertha Breland in Memory of: Rupert Breland and James Stewart
St. Charles Parish RTA in Memory of: Theresa Austin
Dr. & Mrs. James A. Taylor in Memory of: Bertha Sorapuru, Jonnie Farmer Welman, Raul Pardo and Martin F. Sotile
Anonymous donation in Memory of: Dr. Hugh C. Craft
LRTA in Memory of: Dr. Hugh C. Craft
Mr. & Mrs. Raymond Powell in Memory of: Dr. Hugh C. Craft
LRTA District VIII in Memory of: Dr. Hugh C. Craft
Paul & Nancy Quigley in Memory of: Dr. Hugh C. Craft
Dr. & Mrs. Sidney A. Seegers in Memory of: Dr. Hugh C. Craft
Dr. & Mrs. James A. Taylor in Memory of: Dr. Hugh C. Craft
Thank you to our generous donors.


Membership Workshop
Janis Hernandez, state first-vice president and state membership chair, held a workshop with LRTA members to collaborate on membership recruitment plans. Mrs. Hernandez met with every district months prior to the Fall Meeting to discuss current membership numbers. As the members sat with their districts, she offered advice and tips for increasing and maintaining new membership. She recommended adding interactive elements to their events (such as door prizes and potlucks), incorporating service projects into their meetings and budgeting their money wisely to accommodate their meetings. Each district refined their membership plans and gained more insight into membership recruitment. Thank you Mrs. Hernandez for the workshop!


Name of Fame Winners
During the 2018 Fall Meeting, LRTA honored three Name of Fame winners. They are Beth Plaisance– District II, posthumously Annie M. Brown– District X, and Jan Webb– District XI. Releases about the winners will be available soon.


Rupert Breland Memorial
Bertha Breland, immediate past president and wife of the late Rupert Breland, announced the Rupert Berland Memorial during the convention banquet. More details to come. Mrs. Breland honored Rupert “Buddy” Breland, II with the award.

Thank you to everyone who was involved in making this meeting a success. We worked hard, but we played hard, too! It was great to see everyone, and we hope to see you all at our next meetings!